Rumors circulated that King Henry IV had initiated secret negotiations with King Philip II despite prior promises to Queen Elizabeth that he would never seek a separate peace. If the rumors were true and if said negotiations were successful, England and Holland would have faced a strong Spanish army and a navy sufficiently recovered from the fiasco of 1588 without French support. With Ireland on the verge of rebellion on the western front, and Scottish Catholic earls plotting an incursion through the back door in the north, England felt justifiably threatened. Catholic propagandists on the continent stirred the pot by accusing Elizabeth of encouraging Turkish attacks on the eastern flank of the Holy Roman Empire. Even Lutherans of Scandinavia, Danzig and the Hanseatic Towns of northern Germany complained about English interference with their trade with the Iberian peninsula. “Unless new policy initiatives were taken,” R.B. Wernham summarized England’s predicament, “England might find herself faced by the more or less open hostility of almost the whole of Europe.”1 One initiative was a curious attempt to use English Catholic exiles as England extended “peace feelers” to Spain and Rome.